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Discussion in 'Tech Talk - Gadgets, Gizmos and Technology' started by JohnGfun, Feb 10, 2004.
Any advice? Can't Decide.
Depends on what you want. On high-end computers, I'd go with Gateway.
GW has what I've heard is a pretty slick home theater unit, but I've never checked it out. If that's your bent, you might want to take a look at it.
We standardized at work behind GW and supported about 1,500 desktops with only an occassional burp. Started in '96 and still going strong today. But GW is taking it in the shorts these days and struggling to find its place.
Dell has a huge installed base, plenty of offerings to choose from, and still seems like they are the leaders of the pack. Our household has 3 Dells (one laptop that I'm using now) and 2 desktops. Have not had one problem with any of them. Back up desktop is also a Dell that's been in service since '96 with nary a problem.
If it were me, I'd purchase a Dell.
I have worked with both, never have had any problems with either company. When I buy one, I just compare features/price at the web site and go with the best one at the time. Prices seem to practically change daily along with features.
I think he said he wanted a computer, not a fruit. :lol:
(I've repaired IBM, HP, Compaq, Dell and Gateway at the same major corp. I'd recommend a Dell PC more than the others.)
Personally if it's a desktop I build my own. If it's a notebook, I go with Toshiba. If you must get a preconfigured prebuilt one, go with whichever meets your particular specifications..... you don't give your budget, which is the usual deciding factor, but think to the future, get the best one you can afford - and think of adding a little to the budget to futureproof yourself.
Things to watch out for:
Videocard as part of the motherboard..... horrible... and what's even worse would be no free AGP port.
No CD given for restore/reinstall... many manufacturers have gone for the hidden partition on the hard drive... hard drive goes bang, no way to repair/reinstall without paying $s to the manufacturer or purchasing a new CD of the O/S
Mini-ATX format motherboard... not enough PCI slots for upgrading.
Most Dell PCs do not come with a floppy drive these days
If you have a joystick/gamepad that uses a gameport controller, today's PCs with their audio onboard the motherboard do not have a gameport controller. Solution is to purchase a new soundcard with gameport on it or purchase a new joystick/gamepad.
XP Pro runs nice with 512mb or above RAM
XP Home runs nice with 256mb or above RAM
The more the better.
With a mere 128mb, it will run like a snail.
If you have lots of USB devices, ensure the PSU in the PC is over 425watts. The higher the better. Each USB port must be powered. Lots of devices connected at once and an insufficient PSU, the PC will start to 'lose' the device.
Try to avoid those with too much 'crapware' preinstalled. It will take ages to uninstall it all. Best way to go.... have your own new copy of XP and on purchase of PC, format the hard drive and install a new clean copy of XP!
Let's all, on the count of three, put all of our friends, relatives and neighbors out of business and receive no support on goods we receive.
If you do buy a computer with the video built into the motherboard, make sure there is an AGP port available for future use. Finances may make starting out with the built in video a good option. Last year my daughter bought an HP, with the built in video, and an LCD monitor. I found several reviewers who actually recommended the built in/shared memory option with an LCD monitor, as long as the computer had enough memory. She has 512 meg with XP Home. She is an art major, and does graphics on the computer, so I wanted her to have the option of a better video card and a larger monitor when she isn't living in a dorm room. Just make sure you are aware of your option and/or lack of options for the future, which is pretty much what Cori is saying.
On Desktops and servers we have used both dell and gateway in my business (we own 100's of dells and about 40 gateways. Both are good. Had slightly more hardware problems with the Gateway but that just may be random luck. I would buy either. On notebooks I like Dell much better.
Dell has scored better than Gateway in the area's of tech support, customer service and least amount of severe problems experienced with the hardware and software.-source-consumer reports. Apple has scored the best in all areas, but some people can't stand the Mac operating system, although Mac OS X is very much like Windows XP. I also prefer Windows, but the newest Mac systems are increasingly becoming much, much better. Getting back to Dell and Gateway, I have a Dell w/XP pro and I have a Gateway w/2000 pro, I have used both tech supports and work on both machines myself, hardware and software. I find that they are close in overall performance and build quality, but Dell's build quality is the best, plus I like their designers better, less cheap plastic than Gateway with more innovations. Dell is adding in consumer electronics that are far better quality than Gateway's and they will be adding much more in this year. oh' ya, and don't get a floppy or Zip drive no madder what you get, they will be phased out very soon, get a USB memory key, they work on all windows systems (except unmodified 95 & 98 first edition), plus they take up 250% less space!!!! 254 floppy's down into one pen size digital device. available at any electronics store or from Dell or Gateway.
Re- restore CDs, Cari I don't know what other vendors doing, but on HP and Compaq you can make your own recovery discs, either 6 CDs or 1 DVD. There’s a little wizard that takes you through the process. After the disc(s) is created, you can then delete the D partition. I have yet to make my restore DVD, probably should do it some day though
I've never used a Gateway and I have used Dells though. Really any PC vendor is good, all of them basically use the same components from NVidia, ATI, Maxtor, Creative Labs et all. It's just who provides the best support/service. I'm partial to Compaq. Never had any major problems with my previous computer and no real problems to speak of with this one. When I was looking into a new computer, I never considered another vendor besides HP.
or ~3 CDs or a half of a DVD. Best Buy now sells 2GB jump drives. I have a 250 MB one, but the darn thing is shaped oddly and I can’t fit it into my front USB ports. When the 256 MB Sony drives at WalMart come down, I might just buy one and sell my old one to a friend. Those things come in handy though.
I like Gateway as they tend to be priced cheaper than the Dells for comparable equipment. I'm on my fifth generation of a Gateway computer (My first was an Intel 386 based unit in 1990) and I've always had great success. On the occasions when something went wrong (2 bad power supplies and an IBM hard drive that went south (all separate issues with separate machines), Gateway replaced the parts under warranty. The Hard disk was the toughest as I had to reload everything, but everything else was short work. They also are more consumer oriented than Dell which makes its bread and butter on the backs of businesses. Gateway does business class machines as well, but the residential consumer is their biggest customer. I also like the little extras they throw in (universal media card reader on my newest last year), various software bundles that are actually useful.
To hard to find compatable products.
Any budget. I don't care. I'm in the market to buy a good computer. I'm leaning toward Dell. I have had quite an experance with Gateway's plasma tvs, but thats a whole different thread. Some advice they are CRAP. Lot of bugs. Had to have it replaced 4 times and repaired once. My other one I've had it replaced 2 times :eek2: My advice If you are going to get one get the extened warrenty. :soapbox: :rant:
"To hard to find compatable products."
JohnGfun, I run FreeBSD on one box, XP on another and several Macs running OS X which is also UNIX. Your comment is one of the MANY misconceptions about the Macintosh. I have never had trouble finding anything, hardware or software to do anything I wanted to do on the Macs. I have experience with most OS's and personally prefer to run the one that is the most elegant and stable, OS X.
I'll put in a vote for Apple as an over-the-counter solution even though I haven't laid my hands on a newer one. From what you seem to want, I'd go with the Dell though, it will work fine for what it's built to do but Dell is great about cripled bios' and a lack of updates a few years down the road. If you can select a non oem video card when it's built you might be better too, some Dell oem cards are driver locked so the chipset makers drivers won't work on them. I had a dell/USR modem that was this way, could only use Dell drivers/firmware without major hassles. If the Dell seems like it's lacking specs it probably is, they can stuff a P4 in a box and make it slower than a celeron someone can build. I'm not sure how many mobo configurations they use but take a close look at things when you order.
Oh and it doesn't hurt to have a little Linux buzz going on over at Dell either.
Systemax™ AMD Athlon™ 64-bit Processor 3000+ / Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition / 1GB / 120GB / DVD-RW / 7-in-1 Media Reader / 128MB ATI® RADEON 9200 SE AGP 8x Video Card /Desktop PC Item No. SYX-XP-036074 PRICE: $999.99
HERE's "super computer" for a "reasonable price"